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Net Briefs - September '14

Posted on 9.02.2014

PLAs Get Rated

Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are becoming even more influential, as Google has added product ratings to the ad format. This new feature means that U.S. consumers will start seeing ratings in the form of stars and review counts on PLAs in the paid search results. Google will show product ratings for PLAs where it has product review data available through Oct. 2014. After that, merchants must choose to share their reviews with Google in order to leverage the feature.

Get Those Appointments Squared Away

Square is helping small businesses keep their days on schedule, thanks to the software and payments company’s new Square Appointments service. Through the platform, sellers can manage their appointments and offer a simple booking experience to consumers. In early testing, not only did the Web-based solution help 72 percent of the sellers generate additional revenue, but 62 percent of them also saved more than 30 minutes per day. Similarly, 54 percent of the early testers obtained 10 percent more appointments per week.

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Social Commerce Watch

Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are all making headlines when it comes to one thing – social commerce. Facebook is reportedly testing a “Buy” call-to-action button on ads and in Page posts, while Twitter recently acquired payments infrastructure company CardSpring to help the social network with its future commerce initiatives. Additionally, a new study from Piqora proves that merchants are directly profiting from Pinterest, with the data revealing e-commerce revenue from Pinterest referral traffic grew an average of 67 percent from Jan. to June 2014.

Visa Simplifies the Checkout

Visa is helping online merchants simplify the online checkout process with the launch of a new PayPal-like service called Visa Checkout, which integrates into retailers’ existing payment processes. Consumers simply need to sign up for a free account and connect it to a debit or credit card. Then, they can use the account to complete purchases (with no fees) without having to re-enter payment or shipping information anywhere Visa Checkout is available (like Petco, Ticketmaster, Pizza Hut, etc.), from both desktops and mobile devices.

Is Snapchat Ready for Ads?

A new feature from Snapchat has many wondering if the popular ephemeral messaging app is about to begin actively monetizing its platform. The new geo-filter feature, which is currently only available for special locations in Los Angeles and New York, enables users to include unique, location-based image filters to their snaps. A broader rollout could eventually turn into an advertisement opportunity for brands. One of the examples within Snapchat’s announcement video shows a filter for Disneyland Resorts.

Gmail Unsubscribing Has Never Been Easier

It now just takes a click for end-users to unsubscribe from your email list, thanks to a new feature from Gmail that automatically surfaces an “unsubscribe” link next to the sender address within an email. The feature appears when senders include an unsubscribe link in their emails, and is only displayed on messages within the promotions, social or forums tabs. The feature should prove to be a win for subscribers and senders alike, as it offers a hassle-free way for consumers to unsubscribe and will likely reduce the number of spam complaints senders receive over time.


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